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Patsy J. Nevill Oct 1st, 2002 08:55 AM

Where to Go & Where to Miss
Going to Halifax 10/3 and staying in Nova Scotia 7 days. Want to drive to Cape Breton. Is it best to drive entire John Cabot Trail or would certain sections be better. Safe to hike alone on trails (short, 4-1/2 mi.) - mean safe from bear, etc. Any advice on what to see would be most appreciated & routes to take. Thanks

Tanya Oct 1st, 2002 10:25 AM

Yes, by all means do the Cabot Trail. This year we followed it counter clock wise from Baddeck, Ingonish, Pleasant Bay, Cheticamp, Margaree and back to Baddeck. If you continue off the Island the drive from Cheticamp and continuing the trail route through Port Hood, etc. is lovely.<BR><BR>I am not sure about hiking on the trails, especially alone. This time of year the moose will be plenty and you don't want to cross one believe me. I am not sure when hunting season for moose is but they do hunt them in the highlands of Cape Breton. Can't imagine they are allowed to do so in the national park - but not sure.<BR><BR>Allow yourself at least 2 days for Cape Breton. A full day to travel the Trail.<BR><BR>Enjoy your stay!

LJ Oct 3rd, 2002 07:55 AM

Check out the newspaper given out at entrance gates for appropriate seasonalcautions on whildlife for safe hiking. But do try a trail or two, once you are armed with info-they are spectacular, esp. near the top of the Cape.

Molly Oct 3rd, 2002 11:12 AM

The Skyline Trail and Coastal Trails are my favorite short-medium hikes. Ask at the Park information center about bear and hunting season. I've never encountered any bear, just moose on the Skyline Trail, and they pretty much ignored the parade of people walking by. But, then, I've never visited in the fall.

Barry Oct 16th, 2002 06:36 AM

Molly: How long is the Skyline trail and is it suitable for a inexperienced hiker? I've heard raves about it and that moose can likely be seen if you start out very early in the morning. I'm considering spending 5 nights at various locations along the Cabot Trail in early July 2003 and would like to do several short hikes, especially in "moose country"!

Molly Oct 16th, 2002 11:01 AM

Hi Barry,<BR>The Skyline Trail is indeed spectacular - if you only do one hike in this area, I would reccommend this one.<BR>It is not a difficult hike for anyone in reasonable shape. If anyone in your party has mobility problems, you might, however, wish to skip the series of stairs at the endpoint of the hike. When my husband and I were there last, these were still in the process of being built. We were told that they would end at a certain point, making the Skyline an in and out hike. A number of years ago, the trail apparently descended on a loop path, before erosion set in. <BR>In any case, your best views will be from the top. Be sure and bring binoculars to search for whales here.<BR>The hike is medium length, perhaps 2-3 hours with wildlife, view, picnic stops. <BR>You unfortunately have to park your car a ways from the trailhead, which will add some time to your hike. This is a very popular hike, so you might find yourself at the end of a long line of cars at the height of the tourist season.<BR>We always see at least one moose on this trail, but you have to watch carefully, as they blend in {A clustered crowd is a good sign}!<BR>There are a couple of other trails where people apparently see moose, though we haven't. Perhaps it matters what time of day you visit. One was the Bog Trail, and the other was a hike to a pond whose name escapes me. The Bog Trail is very short, more of a walk than a hike, and the pond trail is perhaps 2 hours, in and out.<BR>Hope this was a help - have a great trip -I'm jealous!<BR>

Molly Oct 16th, 2002 11:07 AM

An added thought - we didn't hike the Skyline early in the morning, but we still saw moose. I imagine that the chances are increased if you start out very early, though, and you might escape the crowd. Good Luck!

Tanya Oct 21st, 2002 06:25 AM

May I add a word of caution when coming across moose. Please be careful. I know everyone says the moose along the trail are friendly, however, if a moose decides to charge you there isn't much you can do. They will track you through the woods! Remember, these are huge wild animals. This year we stopped to take pictures of a moose along the trail. We made sure we parked several hundred feet away on the opposite side of the highway. However, tourists came along and parked immediately beside the moose and got out of their car. Scary thing to do. Of course they were lucky and the moose decided to hightail it back into the woods.

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